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Ins and Outs of Becoming a Freelance Designer

  • Publish Date: Posted over 5 years ago
  • Author:by David Valks

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Applying for a new role can be a daunting process. Our podcasts are here to make the process as seamless as possible, by providing you with the information and tools you need to land your next dream role. Hosted by our experienced Australia, Hong Kong and UK teams, we aim to help you stand out and showcase your ability and experience. 

Listen to our latest podcast  -ins and outs of becoming a freelance designer

If you're thinking about becoming a Freelancer, there are some things to consider:

  • As a Freelancer, you're not always guaranteed work, so remember to save up money on the side for when work quietens

  • You get the opportunity to work across a diverse client base, often working in many different studios

  • Excellent flexibility and a broad variety of creative work, you may not get the juicy, conceptual work but more so, the roll-out work 

  • When you're hired as a Freelancer, your job is to get the work done; when working late, you will be paid the extra hours you put in 

  • Freelance rate is generally higher paid than full time positions so if you're consistently working, you could earn a lot 

  • You can choose when you're going away on holidays and factor your trips throughout the year 

  • Having self-discipline is really important - be prepared for when you don't have work available 


  • Be able to build up your portfolio and get a real variety of work 

  • Work with influential people including really creative types

  • Build your network, reputation, your own business and lasting relationships 

  • Clients often ask for repeat business. Even if it is a one-day booking, you give it your all. Treat it like it's your own business. One-day bookings can often lead to months and months of work and even a permanent role!

  • Your attitude is important. Roll up your sleeves and be prepared to work your all when you go in

  • Clients treat freelancers better and draw upon on all their diverse skills 

  • If you're looking for a permanent position, by freelancing first, you can establish and build relationships and get a feel to see if this company is a good fit for you 

  • Temp leads to perm role. Try before you buy!

  • Flexibility is great for freelancers

  • Work from home opportunities

  • Location may be a bit further away. Be open-minded. Show passion!

  • You don’t have to deal with office drama and no office politics as a freelancer! 


  • The market can become quiet. No guarantees of work. A 6-week booking can sometimes be reduced to one week.

  • You need a certain mindset to be a good freelancer, you don’t always get recognition for the work you do, or given any credit. You might have to sign an NDA which means you can't show the work.

  • A big spotlight on you as a freelancer, you are being paid on an hourly rate

  • Don’t be on your phone! You’re on client’s time. They will be watching you! Just got to be aware of this and get your head down and work

  • As a freelancer, your skills can plateau, you’re not being employed by someone who is investing in you

  • You may have to upskill outside of work as you are not being pushed by a mentor

  • You may be hired for your specific skill and speciality

  • You may have to bring your own device, MAC etc. 

  • You have to do your own tax. Unless you use a recruiter, we look after your tax

How to be successful in freelancing?

  • Demonstrate your broad range of skills in your portfolio

  • Clients like to view many portfolios so you must position yourself well

  • If you have a specific style of design, whether it is digital, packaging, or branding. Having both a generic portfolio as well as a specialist portfolio that highlights your specific skills is ideal!

  • Clients like to view portfolios in PDF format as well as a website too. We recommend using both

  • Building your network and staying in touch with your recruiter. Your job to is to keep us updated on your availability and ensure we have you on the top of mind

  • Be proactive when you’re in the booking and when you’re out of work

  • Get in touch with your previous clients, check-in with them

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